Sunday, November 27, 2005

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Panorama | Battle for Europe

Interesting Panorama tonight. It expressed something I have been thinking about for some time.

We live at a time where Europe will become even more critical to the economy of this country, it is not the time to be uncertain as to our place in Europe. The new economies in the east will prove to be great assets to this partnership, we need to embrace it and trade with them rather that fear it. Finally we can learn from some of the lessons from our neighbours. France & Germany are slow to react to the challenges we now face, the economic models of the Nordic countries have been very successful, building new knowledge based economies based on strong free market principles, whilst maintaining good social policies. They have Liberal societies and a low gap between rich and poor. Although this comes at the cost of high taxation, the quality of life in these countries is high. We could learn a lot from them.

1 comment:

Peter Mc said...

I have German relatives and Finnish friends: the Germans are from rich south Germany, both the children (now in their 20s) came to England for their degrees. Both now work here, the German economy being firmly in the can. Finnish friends went home, for all the darkness. Not being an economist I (possibly ignorantly) wonder whether size does matter here: the total population of Scandinavia is 24 million. In an well-fed european country it may be easier to produce a well-educated, productive, socially aware workforce than in France, Britain or Germany where the population is 60 million plus in each and there are large areas of social, economic and educational poverty that are hard to get into and change. It's also easier to demonstrate the benefits of a high-tax, high care economy to five million (Finland) than 62 million (Britain).